Medieval course features virtual tours of local landmarks


- Stephanie Harrington

Michael Reed at Christ Church Cathedral, a landmark in one of the virtual tours he developed for UVic's Victorian Medievalism course, now offered online.

How much do you know about Craigdarroch Castle, Ross Bay Cemetery and Christ Church Cathedral? Michael Reed has been using these local landmarks to explore medieval architecture in Victoria—with a virtual twist. 

It’s the third time his course, Victorian Medievalism, has been offered during the University of Victoria’s summer term. Students typically explore the medieval revival moment in literature and architecture in Great Britain and colonial 19th-Century Victoria as part of the class, which is offered jointly through medieval studies and English.

But because of the pandemic, Reed, an adjunct assistant professor of medieval studies, faced physical limitations when it came to teaching. Instead of spending two days per week in class and a third in the field exploring landmarks with students as in previous years, Reed decided to create a series of on-site videos that featured him as guide. The result: Reed took students on virtual journeys that brought the stories of these historic locales directly to students’ monitors. 

Reed coupled the videos with online photo galleries, content and guided questions to reframe the course as a digital experience. He accomplished all of this with one month’s notice, making the content visible two weeks before the course start date to encourage students to begin exploring, reading and considering their assignments. 

He also recorded all the online sessions and uploaded the links to a central site so students could access and review all the lectures as their schedules permitted. Although it was a lot of work, Reed says students greatly appreciated the effort he put into designing the online course.

I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish with relatively short notice. I love this course, and the online delivery made it that much more interesting this year.
Michael Reed, UVic adjunct assistant professor of medieval studies
Enter the digital middle ages with Michael Reed.


In this story

Keywords: teaching, literature, student life

People: Michael Reed

Publication: The Ring

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